The Braves continued their road trip with a stop at a little league field named Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. For those of you new to the Braves Journal Community, you’ll want to take a minute to read this and familiarize yourself with the virtues of the City of Cincinnati. I don’t have much to add to Mac’s legendary analysis, but I’ll just point out this happened near Cincinnati when I was in law school. I’m not saying it’s a sign, but it’s probably a sign.
Due to Major League Baseball’s draconian blackout restrictions, I enjoyed this game with the company of Don, Jim, and Grandma on the radio side. I also played some Diablo III. No complaints. The Braves turned to their ace, Julio Teheran, to get the team back in the win column after exhibiting a master class in losing the previous night. Entering play, the Braves sat 1.5 games back of the Giants for the final Wild Card spot.
The slumping Reds countered with David Holmberg, a pitcher with 6.1 big league innings under his belt and a 11.37 career ERA. As ‘Rissa pointed out yesterday, Holmberg started the game with a 16.87 ERA for the 2014 campaign. At first pitch, I expected him to throw a perfect game.
In the second, the Braves got on the board with Andrelton Simmons’ second home run of the road trip. The shot came after a solid, seven pitch at-bat. In the top of the third, Holmberg predictably turned into a dumpster fire. After Heyward was awarded a single on appeal to lead off the inning, Phil Gosselin laid down a bunt single. Freddie Freeman followed with a walk to load the bases with nobody out, and Justin Upton extended his hit streak with a two run single. Chris Johnson doubled in a run in the next at-bat, and Evan Gattis made the game 5-0 with a sacrifice fly. This inning would also feature: an intentional walk to B.J. Upton (LoLoLoL) , a bean ball to Teheran, and a bases loaded walk to Heyward. Holmberg left the game with two outs in the 3rd and the Braves staking a 6-0 lead. To answer your question, yes, Holmberg managed to raise his ERA to 18.56.
At this point I spaced out a bit, but the Braves continued to add runs. The score was pushed to 7-0 on a Simmons fielder’s choice which scored Freeman. Justin Upton added another run in the fifth with a sacrifice fly. Unless it was a fever dream, Skip Schumaker pitched a scoreless inning in this game for Cincinnati. It was that kind of game.
Teheran was exceptional, going six innings while allowing four hits and no walks. With this performance, he dropped his ERA for the season below the 3.00 mark. James Russell pitched two shut-out innings, and the game was mopped up by Luis Avilan for a 8-0 Braves win.
With three more games against the struggling Reds, it would be nice to add a few more wins before heading to Flushing. Stay positive.